Beetroot is a nice easy vegetable to grow between March and June, that can be harvested from June until autumn and then, pickled for the winter. Everyone knows it from the way it can stain your hands purple.I much prefer warm, cooked beetroot to pickled as it is very versatile in many dishes and cakes.
My Beetroot Diary
13th April 2013 – Day 1 – I have started my seeds indoors in a 12 pot tray, within another flat tray, planting a couple of seeds in each pot in moist compost, about 1 cm deep. Beetroot likes the sun, so they are in the conservatory on the window sill, being watered every other day to keep them damp.
21st April 2013 – Day 8 – Wow, they have really sprouted, faster than any other vegetable, so I’m quite excited! There are at least a couple of seedlings in each pot. I am now going to water the underneath tray, rather than over the seedlings, so the compost will soak up just enough water to keep the seedlings happy.
27th April 2013 – Day 14 - The seedlings are still a little delicate, but I have a couple in each section, so I am going to risk repotting into larger ones and transfering to the greenhouse frame. They were a little floppy and I lost a couple along the way that were not strong enough, but 20 have survived and are now being left to grow stronger and bigger for a couple of weeks before planting out.
6th May 2013 – Day 23 - Time to plant out the seedlings, although they have not grown too much since last weekend. Still, they look healthy, so here goes. I have planted them 10 cm apart and the rows are 30 cm apart to give them plenty of room. The trench I dug was about 10cm deep and lined with a little damp compost.
19th May 2013 – Day 36 - I was a little concerned about a few of these seedlings when I planted them out as they were a little delicate compared to the others, but as we have had a lot of sunshine and adequate rain in the last couple of weeks, They are all looking healthy and robust and have grown considerably, so I shall not report on them for a few weeks and see how they go.
3rd July 2013 – Day 81 - The beetroot is nearly ready to harvest. They are about 50 cm tall and the beets are beginning to show slightly above the soil. They are needing a lot of water, every day. Another week or so and I will pull them up.
13th July 2013 – Day 91 - Harvest time!!!! When you harvest beets, they should be about the size of a tennis ball (approx 6-8 cm in diameter.) I used a small garden fork to dig down the side of the beetroot plant and lever the soil up as I pulled. I shook as much soil off as I could.
IMPORTANT - When you want to strip the leaves and stalks off your beetroot ready to cook, do not cut them off as the beetroot will “bleed” and stain everything purple. Twist the stalks as close to the beets as you can to shear them off. Then wash well and think of a good recipe!
Here is a suggested recipe you can click on below.